Spring seems to have finally arrived. I think I can say this now. After all, it’s mid April already. Just a month ago it was so cold that I felt even words would freeze if spoken. The world was nothing but a gray and dry mass (with a hint of salty snow). The sun was nothing but a supposition. But we made it! We’re here.
Look at the little flowers pushing through dirt and gravel! Look at the blossoming trees! And they don’t even know what a beautiful change they bring into the world. Or do they? Can a tree know anything at all? Of course not, who am I kidding? They know nothing.
But… they can listen.
They really can.
If you ask road workers, those who repair the pavement and dig up holes and lay out pipes, they will tell you how much trees love to get their roots around water pipes, how they embrace them and squeeze them till they sometimes crack, how they look for fissures and even penetrate them and go up those pipes until they get inside people’s homes.
Time. Patience. And a good ear. That’s all it takes. That’s all they have.
In some experiments, plants were given the choice to expand their roots only left or right. Left, there was nothing, right, there was a water pipe. Most of them chose right. Condensation, would be the usual explanation, there are very fine water droplets that would form around the pipe and that’s what would draw the roots. The trick? The water pipe was outside the container in which the plant was developing its extremities. More experiments until, eventually, the water pipe was completely replaced by… a… small… speaker playing the sound of water running through a pipe. Plants still went for it. Trees would still reach for it, wrap its roots around it.
So, next time you walk through a forest, that eerie feeling you get of eyes watching you… Now, you should add to it the ears, listening.
Not a long while ago the city of Melbourne started assigning trees email addresses for people to easily be able to signal illnesses or dangerous branches to the city’s administration. Melbourne’s Environmental Portfolio got something else entirely out of their endeavour - people wrote love letters to the trees. Which is fun for humans. But, I guess, a tree would benefit more if you actually would tell it to it.
Perhaps we should really talk to trees. Perhaps they could be the ultimate recipients of our most intimate secrets.
Go tell it to a tree!
All of it!
Leave Me Hidden by Franz Wright
I was having trouble deciding
which to watch: Night
of the Living Bloggers, or
Attack of the Neck-Brace People.
In the end I just went for a walk.
In the woods I stopped wondering why
of all trees
this one: my hand
pressed to fissures
and ridges of
bark’s hugely magnified
resting against it
a heartbeat, vast, silently
booming there deep in
my hidden leaves, blessed
underworld, thank you